Tabor, Textron relationship taking off

Tabor students interning or working at Textron in 2024 summer
Six Tabor students and two 2024 graduates have started internships or are now full-time employees of Textron Aviation. Back row: Seth Auchterlonie (JR, Maize, Kan.), Jonah Arrasmith (SO, Wichita, Kan.), Ethan Eddy (JR, Wichita, Kan.). Front row: Betsy George (g’23), Jessica Klein (g’24), Kathy Perigo (JR, Newton, Kan.), Sydney Takash (g’24). Not pictured: Jayton Alexander (JR, McPherson, Kan.)

Tabor College continues to build on its partnership with one of the world’s leading multi-industry companies.

Ten students have held internships at Textron Inc., over the past two years, including six in summer 2024. Two graduates from the 2024 class, Jessica Klein and Sydney Takash, completed internships and now work under Textron Aviation in Wichita, Kan., the ‘Air Capital of the World.’

As one of the preeminent brands in the airline industry, Tabor’s students are immersed in a brand and market in Wichita responsible for 35 percent of all general planes built in the United States. With 35,000 people employed worldwide, only the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area matches Wichita for most Textron affiliates in the United States.

In August 2022, Madison Byrd-Moyano (g’20) asked Aleen Ratzlaff, Ph.D., professor emerita, if she had any students seeking an internship. Ratzlaff connected with Klein about the opportunity ahead of her junior year.

What was supposed to be a seasonal internship turned into a two-year position that led Klein to a full-time position upon graduation. As an intern, she worked within the company intranet and created and implemented newsletters that spanned the globe.

Takash was one of five students who participated in Entrepreneurship Experience in fall 2022, taught by Melinda Rangel, Ed.D., Marvin Sellberg Professor of Business and Entrepreneurship. One of the centerpiece assignments is the Week of Business, which brings guest speakers to campus and over 30 businesses for a Career Fair.

Rangel suggested Takash interview with Textron Aviation, now a three-year participant in the Career Fair. From that interview, she earned an internship at the Sacramento (Calif.) Service Center the next summer, which is where she grew up.

Last Thanksgiving, Takash accepted a position as a business analyst in Wichita, while Klein serves as a communications associate.

“I knew I wanted to be in a corporate setting, but I didn’t know how much I’d like aviation,” Takash said.

With a half-dozen students interning through other Wichita offices, Klein said she enjoys seeing a fellow graduate and other Tabor students benefitting from Textron’s offerings. 

“It’s such a big company and there are a lot of opportunities available,” Klein said. “You get to meet so many people, whether human resources, marketing, or talking with people building planes; we’re getting to network and connect with so many people.”

Takash said it took very little time to see Hillsboro’s and Tabor’s impact within Textron.

“I’ve met so many people familiar with Tabor College and others who grew up in Hillsboro,” Takash said. “From being out of state, it’s cool to see how people know where I came from and where we went to college.”

Sarah Brennan, university relations manager at Textron Aviation, said the partnership with Tabor College continues to yield positive results.

“Tabor College students stand out in the interview process due to their genuine enthusiasm, strong work ethic, and commitment to excellence,” Brennan said. “They embody the Textron Aviation spirit of integrity, humility, and hard work. We aim to provide all interns with meaningful work they can impact, aligning with our mission of leading the world to the future of flight. The projects these interns have worked on have impacted our employees and customers in many different areas of the company.”